Checking the signs

Checking the signs

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) is the sign of the Lion, the king of the jungle. Leos are fire signs filled with pride. Summer's the season to shine, and Leos bask in the glory of the sun. They love the spotlight -- just ask Giants slugger Barry Bonds and Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez, just to name two Leo baseball icons. Celeb Leos include Madonna, Mick Jagger and Napoleon. No other sign can grab and hold center stage the way a lion can. Because Leo is a fixed sign, they can be determined, stubborn and self-assured to a fault. Nonetheless, it takes a potent energy to plow through the dog days of summer.

Although Leos usually don't like to share the limelight, unique milestones have both Bonds and A-Rod sharing center stage. Bonds of the San Francisco Giants and Rodriguez of the New York Yankees are both on the cusp of record-breaking feats in baseball. A-Rod notably for being the youngest player to reach the 500 homers milestone and Bonds for breaking baseball's most coveted record -- Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs. They also share a prestigious membership in the rather exclusive 40 homer, 40 stolen base club, as well.

A dramatic fire-sign Leo, born July 24, 1964, Bonds seeks appreciation for his unique abilities. Recognition is Leo's reason to be, and Leos like Bonds can't tolerate staying in the background for long. He needs to shine and take charge. Like a proud peacock, those trance glances following epic home runs echo Leo's hunger for admiration.

Big dreams, with the vitality to bring them into being, are the heart of Leo. The desire for stardom and heroism runs deep in their psyches. "All the world's a stage," and neither Bonds or A-Rod are content to be just one of the team.

Bonds was born on the full of the moon (planet of emotions), in detached and aloof Aquarius. His head argues with his heart, creating disharmony and imbalance. This sets up a rather conflicted personality: a spotlight seeker who craves attention, yet shuns it. Being at cross-purposes with himself, it's as if he turns his feelings on and off at will. Thanks to a couple of planets in variable Gemini, he can be a verbal pepper pot, impulsively speaking before he thinks. His disposition changes like the winds at AT&T Park. Just when you think there's no hope thawing the surly iceberg, he'll be as welcoming as his plush recliner.

While Leos can be overbearing, they can also be some of the most radiant people on the planet. Commanding and demanding, dual kings of the zodiac Bonds and A-Rod are prime examples of that undeniable blend.

Rodriguez was born July 27, 1975, in New York, N.Y., under the charismatic sign. Like Leo, king of the zodiac, the proud and intensely original A-Rod rules the baseball diamond. Big dreams, along with the will to realize them is characteristic of Leo energy.

The Yankees third baseman currently leads the league with 35 home runs and 103 RBIs, and was the first player to get to 100 RBIs in his 99th game this season. The joy of competing runs deep in Rodriguez's soul. Compiling numerous Gold Gloves, MVPs and All-Star appearances, his Leo light continues to shine, proving he's one of baseball's most versatile talents.

Although very successful in Texas, Leos need the spotlight to shine and A-Rod felt the need to move to New York to bask in the limelight. In his first season with the Rangers, he produced one of the top offensive seasons for a shortstop, leading the league with 52 home runs, 133 runs scored and 393 total bases. He also drove in 135 runs. With Mars in persistent Taurus, A-Rod's dedication to goals is extraordinary. He's blessed with outstanding bat speed, leverage and power to all fields. In addition to his superstar offense, his glove is quite strong after switching to third base from shortstop. Still, it's a romantic heart and a love of the extravagant that make Leos shine like no other. With an empathetic Pisces moon, Rodriguez has a compassionate nature and is a rather gentle, poetic soul. He recently penned a children's book. Possessing the noblesse obligé Leos are famous for, A-Rod enjoys working at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami, where he was raised.

Often cited as the best all-around player currently in baseball, A-Rod is also known for signing the richest contract in sports history, a 10 year, $252 million deal. It looks like the dark night of the soul is over for Rodriguez.

Checking the rest of the signs:

Aries -- (March 21-April 19) Your creative talents are highlighted this month. You should be able to put all your attention and energy into a creative enterprise that allows you to express yourself in a totally new way. Expect good news when the sun moves into Virgo on Aug. 23 -- a perfect time to improve your fitness routine, too.

Los Angles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier is an energetic Aries.

Taurus -- (April 20-May 20) Domestic life can be somewhat complicated when retrograde Venus moves back into Leo on the Wednesday, where it remains for the rest of the month. Mars presence in Gemini from Tuesday onward suggests you are in the drivers seat when it comes to making decisions around money.

Atlanta Braves infielder Chipper Jones is a persevering Taurus.

Gemini -- (May 21-June 20) Mars in your animated sign after Tuesday indicates you've got plenty of get up and go. Commit to a workout regimen or start playing sports on the weekends. Sign up for a gym membership or find a new hobby to focus your tremendous vitality.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano is a restless Gemini.

Cancer -- (June 21-July 22) This month, you need to concentrate on paying off bills and finding ways to maximize income. Jupiter turns direct in Sagittarius on Monday, so if you've been lounging around this summer, it's time to get physical. You aren't big on exercise just for its own sake, but once you find something you like, you're unstoppable.

Los Angles Angels outfielder Garret Anderson is a sensitive Cancer.

Leo -- (July 23-Aug. 22) You're on top of the world this entire month, as the sun spends most of the time in gregarious Leo. This year, however, there may be a few complications, including retrograde Venus in your sign after Wednesday. This suggests even though you have amazing talents to share right now, it may be difficult to get the recognition you so richly deserve.

Toronto Blue Jays infielder Troy Glaus is an inspiring Leo.

Virgo -- (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) With Venus retrograde in your humble sign through Wednesday, don't expect to get any kudos right now for your work. However, you may find rewards coming in more practical ways, once Mercury and the sun move into Virgo on Aug. 19 and 23, respectively. Keep your eye on the prize and you will succeed.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is an industrious Virgo.

Libra -- (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) With Venus retrograde this month, you may not be at your most sociable self. Yet it's a good time to take a vacation, especially after Monday, when Jupiter turns direct in your travel sector. A cruise is always a good idea for Libra because it allows you to be leisurely while still expanding horizons.

Texas Rangers infielder Michael Young is a harmonious Libra.

Scorpio -- (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Career matters are enhanced, yet there may be some power struggles over other people's money with Mars in Gemini in your eighth house of joint finances. With Venus retrograde back into Leo on Wednesday, a working relationship with a supervisor or colleague could turn sour this month. Play it cool and you'll be the one who has the last laugh.

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ian Snell is a competitive Scorpio.

Sagittarius -- (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) You aren't afraid of controversy this month as Mars in Gemini transits your seventh house of relationships. It can actually be fun to find out how many different opinions you and your significant others have. It's a different matter when it comes to dealing with professional colleagues during the first week of the month.

Oakland Athletics outfielder Nick Swisher is an upbeat Sagittarius.

Capricorn -- (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Now it's your turn to change some health and fitness habits this month. Mars moves into Gemini on Tuesday, and suddenly you can't wait to channel all your extra energy. If you aren't much into physical activity, maybe its time to find a sport you like. While it's tempting to fall back on something "safe" like golf or tennis, why not try a sport that is more physically demanding and a bit more intense?

Florida Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis is a pragmatic Capricorn.

Aquarius -- (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) While you have a lot of things going on in your life at this time, that isn't an excuse to ignore the ones you love. Always independent Aquarius needs to do what they can to improve their relationships, once Venus retrograde moves back into Leo on Wednesday. Aug. 13 is the best day to reconnect with significant others.

Toronto Blue Jays infielder Lyle Overbay is a unique Aquarius.

Pisces -- (Feb. 19-March 20) This month, you get the chance to indulge your love of domestic surroundings, as Mars transits Gemini in your fourth house after Tuesday. It's a great time to get your house in order and dispose of useless objects. You're very sensitive to your environment, and it helps to have the sort of milieu that reflects your love of beauty, peacefulness and artistry.

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Jeff Kent is an elusive Pisces.

Andrea Mallis, Sports Astrologer, is a devoted baseball fan and writer. Mallis has appeared on ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN News, ESPN2 Cold Pizza, Baseball Tonight and ESPN All-Night Radio. She's written for Major League Baseball magazines, ESPN.com Page 2, MLB.com, as well as appearing on local TV and radio shows. Mallis was recently featured in "FantasyLand," a book on fantasy baseball. For more information, please visit www.virgoinservice.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.